The last time I saw Dropkick Murphys was at the Murat a few years ago. I had grown up on their anthemic, working-class party punk in high school and held them in high regard. But when they started playing that night at the Murat, I couldn’t stand to watch more than a few songs. Despite having unloaded $30 bucks to see them, I walked back to my car and drove home.
The whole ride home, I pondered what the hell had happened. Was high school that long ago? Had I out grown their music? Or had the band eventually run out of good songs to write? Or maybe they had sucked all along and I just never noticed?
I went back home and busted out Do Or Die, their first album. It was still as good as I remembered. “Barroom Hero” still hits me as hard as it did when I first heard it nearly ten years ago. My investigation continued to the point of buying their newest album, which was, at the time, The Warrior’s Code. There were two or three listenable songs, but the rest of the album was a gimmicky laughing stock of celt-punk noise.
But if the band sucks so badly now, why is it that they’re bigger than ever? High school kids today are picking up The Warrior’s Code, and to them, it’s Do Or Die. Perhaps the band is simply resting on it’s laurels; their popularity today is based on their talent of yesterday.
David Bowie said that bands can only have a maximum of 15 years of relevancy. But what do you do when you run out of things to say? Do you throw in the towel? Where would At The Drive-In, Refused, Operation Ivy and even Nirvana be today if they hadn’t called it quits when they did? I’m sure Jessie Michaels would be paying a mortgage on a huge house with the money he was making with Operation Ivy and Kurt Kobain would be committing suicide this year after having to play another awful X Fest with 3 Doors Down, Seether and Shinedown.
I can’t blame these musicians for being able to make a living off of playing their music, but it sucks to fall out of love with a band you used to adore when they just don’t do it for you anymore. I’m sorry Dropkick Murphys, but we’ve grown apart. We made a lot of great memories together but you’re not the band that I knew in high school; I don’t love you anymore.